the warman

Kładę się na łóżku i wpatruję się w sufit, czekając na nadejście poranku z nadzieją, że może dzień przyniesie coś innego niż tylko nieskończony upływ czasu.
—  Jessica W a r m a n “Pomiędzy światami”


CHILDREN OF BODOM RACING AT THE TOP (text: Nalle Österman, pictures: Iiska Siirilä)

(1st picture text: Alexi proves us that he is a metal man also when wearing a boiler suit)

(2nd picture text: Alexi is going really fast)

COB is here again. Their single You’re Better Off Dead hit the top of the charts in Finland and gave way to the newest album Hate Crew Deathroll, which proves us that COB still is a part of the metal elite of Finland. The silence in Finland has ended and it’s time to step on the gas. Vrroooommm!!!

Children of Bodom’s singer/guitarist Alexi Laiho and keyboardist Janne Warman are both really into cars. Alexi told us that he had just put a new engine into his Pontiac Firebird, and that’s where all his money went then and now he’s going to only eat rice for a while. To Janne a car is not only just a vehicle, it is much more. Driving your own car feels like you have achieved something.

”Me and Alexi we were supposed to buy (from the movie Blues Brothers) the bluesmobile, you know, a Dodge Monaco 1974 painted to look like a police car. Now that would be a nice sleigh.” Janne says.

Now because we didn’t get to try out any bluesmobiles or Lamborghinis, and Kimi and Mika’s Formulas are probably stored away for the winter, we decided to make our way to Vantaa VM Karting Center. It’s the biggest indoors kart racing center in northern europe, and the race track is 530 meters long.

”Now we are gonna lose our reputation completely!” Alexi whines. His mood isn’t the best right now. He has just come back from his other band Sinergy’s european tour that lasted a month. He says recovering from it takes about a week. ”I’m so not wearing that!!” Alexi cries as he sees the blue driving suits.

The album name gets people talking

After the instructions it’s time to get to the driving. The beginning is a little slow but the lap times get better pretty fast. Ten minutes of driving goes past like flying and it turns out that controlling the cars isn’t as easy as it seemed at first.

At first Alexi turned out to be the fastest of the three drivers, but after a second try, our reporter notices he has defeated the metal stars. Instead of spraying champagne, we are using soda. The defeated musicians decide to check out the dumpster outside the hall to see if there’s room for a couple losers.

”It was fun but I would have enjoyed this more if I wasn’t so tired…” Alexi complains.

”I was actually supposed to come here earlier with Timo Kotipelto but we somehow kinda forgot about it. But I’m totally gonna do this again!” Janne says.

Could your newest album name refer to a death rally?

”Deathroll means a list of people who have died in a war. It can also mean the kind of people who need to fuck off and die.” Alexi explains. ”Also it can mean that we may not live very long! …It’s probably the first time anyone has asked us anything about the album name. There’s four very strong words in there, I guess it works then.”

The gig of nightmares

COB is known to be an energetic live band, to whom the more exotic countries have become familiar too. Before the finland tour in March, they are going to tour in Japan and then in the summer some USA. Then the fall is spent in South America, Japan and maybe even South Korea, Australia and USA. The traveling isn’t always to glamorous though.

”That show in Columbia was personally for me probably the most horrible experience ever. It has to do with this thing that when we got there I bought a burger, and the beef in it was raw. I was so hungry I just had to eat it. Then during the show things started happening in my tummy… I had to play the show with shit in my pants!!” Janne reveals.

”I got mad whe we got back to Finland after the South American tour. Our website was full of comments like ‘Alexi and Janne are assholes because the left the signing session too early!’ Hey, we hadn’t had any sleep in two days and we had to play a show the next day! Just think about it, we had been up for 30 hours in a row and played a couple shows to the columbians and we were sick too. And then in return we got called rockstars and assholes!” Alexi sighs.

”Sometimes I think there are some easier ways to get paid than this. Even though we love touring it is sometimes really hard. But it is also very fun on the road, whenever some six week european tour is ending I feel like continuing it for another six weeks.” Janne says.

”This band belongs on the road. We are at our best live” Alexi says.

What is your best gig memory?

”I think it’s Wacken last year.” Alexi says.

”At festivals things are a little unsure when we can’t take much time to try out the sounds. But there the audience was so great, that we played perfectly too. Then after Wacken it wasn’t so good, when we went to Switzerland. We played so badly, some awful punks could have played our songs better.” Janne complains.

”It’s good to get your feet back to the ground once in a while” Alexi says.

Mom and dad have always supported me”

COB isn’t happy about the music trends nowadays.

”This is this kind of MTV-culture. They find nice faces and make them stars. It pisses me off when very good bands and artists go unnoticed. The big magazines don’t care about finnish metal bands, eben though they are the most successful finnish acts globally. Suddenly there’s some pop band and after one single there’s a huge fuss.” Alexi says.

”But I also don’t really want to become a huge celebrity in Finland. Now I can just go to the gas station without anyone disturbing me.” Janne says.

”The chart success feels good though. You never know when your success will end. But I think the best thing about the chart success is that we got that fucking ketchup song off the first place for at least a week!” Alexi celebrates.

Where have you put your gold albums?

”There they are collecting dust in the basement… No they are on the wall at home of course.” Alexi explains.

”There’s a couple on the wall and a couple in the closet… There wasn’t enough holes in the wall…” Janne says.

Did your parents ever tell you to stop this metal thing when you were just starting out? Have their opinions changed when you have become successful?

”My mom and dad have always supported me. I told them already on the seventh grade that I’m not going to go to high school, I just wanna play rock n roll. They have been in the music business too so it never was a problem for them at all.” Alexi explains.

”My mom thinks I should study. The situation has changed now that I have begun to earn enough money to support myself though.” Janne says.


Alexi: 1. Dodge Charger (1971) 2. Pontiac Trans Am SE (1977) 3. Dodge Monaco (1974)

Janne: 1. Ferrari 355 2. BMW M5 3. Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing (1955)

(1st picture text: Get out of the way here comes Janne!!)

(2nd picture text: Alexi’s sharp right turn)

(3rd picture text: Reporter Nalle Österman celebrates as the winner, Janne and Alexi are cursing their defeat.)